Who Do You Think You Are? Strange Things Parents Say
Who do you think you are? A question my mother liked to ask me when she was getting on to me. I use to stand there and wonder, who did she think I was? Yet, my shaky voice always answered back, “No one.” I really wanted to tell her that I was Chasity Anne Sifford, who did she think I was?
There were many other questions and sayings that would often stay with me after my punishments. I would ponder on them late at night while the house was quiet. I swore many nights that I would never hurl such hurtful and confusing questions at my own child(ren). And for the most part, I haven’t, but there are a few I am guilty of using, and I am sure many mothers have gone on to use them on their own children. Don’t feel guilty Moms, it was bound to happen when you grew up hearing the same things. So I composed a list of the top five things my mother use to say to me which would, in turn, have my brain twisted with my own thoughts.
1. Who do you think you are?
This question would drive me crazy because I would doubt who I was and wondered who I was supposed to be. My mother threw this one around whenever she felt I had been disrespectful and stepped out of line. After answering, “No one” after many years, I often wondered if I was anybody at all or just an extension of my mother. It left me confused and hurt, but I never once showed that to her because then she would have hit me with number two on my list.
2. Do you want me to give you something to cry about?
Well no, I don’t and I couldn’t believe she would even think that I would answer “Yes,” confronted by her steely brown eyes. I certainly knew she meant a spanking and not tears of joy. And I for one did not want her giving me something to cry about as I hated crying in front of people. Maybe that is the reason why I am a shower cryer. I refuse to cry in front of others unless it absolutely can’t be helped.
3. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
Sure it is. Insert eye-roll. I have never understood this saying and still don’t after having children myself. How can it hurt you more than me? You aren’t the one being hit or punished. After becoming a parent, I found that it does hurt to have to discipline one’s own child when you would rather give then all the love and good in the world, but I am quite certain my son felt worse than I did about the situation. Things seem much bigger from a child’s perspective.
4. Don’t look at me with those eyes.
Whose eyes should I look at you with? Did I have another set of eyes I was not aware of at the time? Was there another body part that I could see out of? I found myself checking my head for another pair of eyes or seeing if I could look through my hands as if they had eyes in the center of my palms. I never found them and my mother still says this me at times. Mothers never really change. They just mellow with age.
5. If so and so jumped off a bridge, would you?
The dreaded response to “everyone is going or doing it.” I would stand there and think “well no, I’m not stupid, I’m not jumping off a bridge for anyone,” but one is not allowed to voice this fact to their elders for fear of bringing down the wrath of a southern mother. I was never one led by the nose and my mother knew this. She would tell you now that Chasity did what Chasity wanted, regardless of others. I have thrown this own particular euphemism out to my own son because, unlike me, he is easily swayed at times. And unlike me, he didn’t mind coming back with, “Naw, not a bridge.” He didn’t and still doesn’t have me convinced of this fact.
There were so many more I could have used, but it would have ended up being a rather long list. These are my top five strange things my mother used to say to me. I am sure these weird questions and saying did not damage me too badly. Although I do wonder about my number one on the list, after many years of responding to such question and referring to oneself as a no one may have certain repercussions. But my mother would have you know that my self-esteem did not suffer for I had a big ego once upon a time like all young girls high on life do. I had a wild spirit which was hard to tame.
If you have more strange or weird sayings, I would love to hear them. Have you found yourself sounding like your own mother? I would love to hear your stories. Don’t go jumping off bridges just because others do, and always remember who you are and keep looking with those eyes.